By : Nikon School Blog | 18 Sep, 2017 |
Photography knows no barriers. We just have to look around to find the inherent beauty in everything. One much underestimated subject photographers often overlook is still life. Yes, the inanimate objects that are lying about inside and outside our homes or workplaces can often turn out to be interesting subjects to photograph.
For now, let's concentrate on shooting still life subjects commonly found outdoors and how to shoot them effectively.
Still life is everywhere. A cycle parked outside someone's home or the forgotten hand cart pushed into oblivion inside an alley. Abandoned toys, cars or items or everyday use in a garbage dumb or objects waiting to be sold in a shop window. All these can be your outdoor still life subjects. Just look around wherever you travel next, or just take a walk around your home.
Still life subjects are lifeless, yet, they are all connected to human lives somehow. Look for subjects that have been used, or are being used, or have been used in the past.
Composition and lighting
Look for attractive light. Soft, golden light early morning or late evening, looks good even with outdoor still life subjects. Subjects with long shadows always look attractive.
Still life subjects give you ample time and opportunity to get the best angle and frame.
Try to balance the frame with balancing elements.
Generally use open apertures like f/4 or f/2.8 to isolate the main subject while blurring the background or foreground. Aperture priority mode is the most preferred. For frame filling, small subjects, you can also try the close up mode. Avoid using flash, instead use natural light as much as possible.
Under-expose a bit to darken the shadows and bring out more details in the highlights.
Backlit subjects evoke a sense of serenity and quietness. Use spot or centre-weighted metering or over expose by one to two stops to get a correct exposure. Experiment with Low key and High Key modes if your camera offers them.